Creating and using mindmaps – tips, software, examples and more

Create and use a mindmap - tips, software, examples and more

A mindmap is very helpful when you’re a self-employed person searching the web for article ideas or building a new website.

Why the mindmap is so helpful and how to create it, you will learn in today’s article. I also show examples and give tips for useful software.

I appreciate your feedback on this article and your experiences with mindmaps.

What is the use of a mind map?

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What is that anyway, one or the other will now ask. According to Wikipedia, the mind map (or mind map) was first introduced by British psychologist Tony Buzan in 1971.

Originally, the central theme was written down on paper in the middle, like z.B. a book title. Afterwards one has noted around it the main topics (and connected with a line to the starting point in each case), which are connected with the central topic. Staying with the book metaphor, these are the most important chapter titles.

From there, more key words (keywords) are noted, each of which is then related to each of the main topics. Again these are connected with a line to the respective main topic. How far this "ramification" goes depends on the author of the mindmap. There is no defined end, because as long as you still have ideas, you can add them.

The visual representation in the mindmap makes it easier to find new associations and that’s why this way of brainstorming is so popular. Finally, many people find it difficult to come up with ideas. The mindmap is a great way to do visual brainstorming.

But not only that. You also structure the found ideas at the same time, so that you can keep the overview very well.

Practical areas of application

I use mindmaps for different purposes. This is how I use it z.B. for building a new website.

In the first step I try to use it to find interesting and worthwhile topics for a new website, z.B. for building a niche website. Often I find website ideas on this website that I would not have come up with in this way.

In the second step, I use the mind map to collect content ideas and in this way define the different categories and areas of the website, but also to collect individual article ideas.

Another area of application is existing blogs. This is how I use a mind map to find z.B. based on successful articles of one of my blogs new creative article ideas. Because especially the successful articles, which attract many visitors, should be further developed, or rather. elaborate related topics in new articles.

For this purpose you can z.B. take the 5 most successful articles and write them as single points in the middle of the mindmap. And then you add more ideas, topics, article approaches and so on around it.

Other collections of ideas are also possible with a mind map, such as z.B. interactive elements of a website, contest ideas, link building partners, newsletter content, podcast episodes, and more.

The mind map is very versatile to find ideas and I like to use this possibility very much.

What exactly does a mindmap look like??

To show you, how such a mind map can look like, I have an example below.

This shows the methods for brainstorming ideas for a new niche website. The resulting network of terms shows different main areas, for which I have noted further sub-terms. With this mindmap, I never forget a source when searching for a niche.

Creating and using a mindmap - tips, software, examples and more

But mind maps are often branched out even further. If I’m looking for niche ideas directly, I write e.g.B. "Worries", "Experiences", "Products you bought yourself", "Needs", "Hobbies", and more on.

And I use the mindmap for the concrete planning of a website and its content. In the following you can see a video, in which I compile content with a mindmap for one of my niche websites.

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Create a mind map

Let’s get to the creation of a mindmap. The easiest way is with a white sheet of paper on which you write the starting point in the middle. So this can include z.B. be the theme of the website (if you have already chosen it). Or you can write something generic, like "ideas for new website".

Around the central point you then add the main points that come to your mind. This can help in brainstorming ideas for a new niche website z.B. be the items "worries", "lucrative products" or "hobbies".

And from these single main points you enter concrete keywords that fit to them. Under "Worries" can then be z.B. "Money worries", "Health", "Burglary", "Job" etc. stand. Already at this point you find usually many subitems. But this does not have to be the end. Also from there you can branch out further, if it is appropriate.

So you can go into detail as much as you want, but you should create a halay balanced mindmap, so that it remains clear.

More ideas and keywords can be found by asking typical questions of the target group, searching for related terms, forming associations, picking out suitable products, talking to other people, solving problems z.B. find out in forums and so on. There are many ways to come up with new ideas and sub-items.

Therefore, the creation of a mindmap is not necessarily a short process, but can take a longer period of time.

In this way, a network of ideas and approaches for the content of a website or for the topic of a website in general is created.

Mindmap Software

Instead of paper, you can also use a special software to create a mindmap. Such tools have the great advantage that it is very easy to add changes and extensions without having to pay attention to the space on a sheet.

You can also use different colors and different box shapes to make the mindmap visually clear.

I find z.B. I like XMind very much, which is available for free for private purposes. With XMind: ZEN there is a new product from this manufacturer, where everything has been revised and more functions have been integrated.

However, XMind costs money annually, which I do not find so great for a desktop software. I would prefer a one-time price.

A completely free alternative is Freeplane, which is a fork of Freemind, which is unfortunately no longer being developed. The visual design of the mindmaps is not exactly modern, but it’s completely ok and sufficient.

In terms of functionality, it does not have to hide from commercial products, so you can create all kinds of mind maps with it.

As an online tool you can have a look at mindmeister. Here you can create mindmaps together with others, store and share meeting notes as a mindmap, plan projects and more.

Comments and votes are also possible with this. This makes this online tool ideal when collaborating with others. But then there are also monthly costs per user.

You can find more interesting mindmap tools z.B. on studybees.de

Use mind map

But creating a mindmap is not the end of the story. If you invest a lot of work in it and then let it disappear in a drawer, you have gained nothing. Instead, you should use them when implementing your ideas or z.B. your website.

I use this z.B. again and again when I create content for one of my niche websites. I check off the keywords/sub-headings I create articles for and add new ideas/keywords regularly. After all, the creative process is never finished and with time you will always come up with new ideas.

And here’s how I have mind maps for many of my blogs and websites, which I also use all the time.

Conclusion

A mindmap is a very helpful tool for finding ideas and at the same time structuring these ideas.

If you are planning a new website or something similar, you should definitely try out a mindmap and see if it helps you. I have had very good experiences with this and I also hear again and again from readers that they use these.

My name is Peer Wandiger. I’ve been self-employed on the web for more than 15 years and run many of my own blogs, websites, podcasts and YouTube channels.

Here in the blog you will find more than 3.000 articles from me about making money on the internet, the best articles from over 15 years, all about me and much more.

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7 Thoughts on "Creating and using mindmaps – tips, software, examples and more"

Very nice article. Here are a few more tips on how to create it:

To structure the mind map, use the W-questions (Who?, What?, Where?, Like?, When? and why?)
Symbols (arrows, emojis, figures, etc).) and use pictures (say more than thousand words)
Bescfhriftungen always horizontally, otherwise it becomes difficult readable
Use only nouns
Only in block letters
Corrections are allowed

Hello Christian, thanks for the further tips. These are very useful.

I really like to use mindmaps to create some kind of basis for problems that need to be optimized.
But afterwards I use MS Visio to bring structure into it and to illustrate the connections better.

Hi Peer.
Hasn’t the topic already existed here? In principle, I am a regular reader of your pages/blogs. Lately, however, I often had the impression that texts are written on topics, only to knock out a new post every day (mass instead of class). If applicable. topics should not be rehashed or articles should be written with empty phrases and without a real conclusion, but with real content/added value (class instead of mass).
Often you read a clickbait headline, then they beat around the bush, in the conclusion they say "Can’t say that, it depends…".
I guess you won’t publish the comment, which I don’t expect at all. My only point is that I would like to read more often again texts on content with real added value, even if it is certainly impossible to bring such texts daily…
Interesting for most would be z.B. An overview of how the traffic and revenue of your podcast website has developed. What do your old niche sites (z.b. Toolbox]. Possible monetization with affiliate marketing in combination with adds, instead of organic traffic. Possibilities to make your own website more secure (plugins etc).), ways to make money online besides affiliate marketing (e.g. web design and local SEO for SMEs). An interview with a (sorry New German) Digital Nomad etc.
Please don’t take this too much as criticism. You definitely belong to those who know what they are doing. I also understand that at some point you run out of ideas. But there are too many interesting topics to rehash old posts.
Greetings
Jorgo

Why wouldn’t I publish your comment? It is your right to criticize.

However, I also write about topics that I find interesting, like e.g.B. Mindmaps. That after more than 12 years also times topics are taken up again, is I think also completely normal. The fact that not everyone likes it, is just so.

There will be more insights on my niche websites in the near future.

Hello Peer,
thanks for the great tip. I will definitely use it in my next planning.
Best regards

Hello Mr. Wandiger,

with a little less features than the programs you presented, there are still https://mind-map-online.en . But it is completely free and without advertising / watermarks.

Many greetings
Hans

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Hello, my name is Peer and I am a self-employed blogger, author and affiliate. I live from my blogs and websites and use a lot of useful resources for it. I’ve been writing about being self-employed for more than 15 years and share practical tips and lots of insights, including in my free newsletter.
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