Last week’s #blogchat included sponsorship with Pilot Pen USA and the idea to take ink to our blogs — #PowerToThePen so to speak. I decided to go ahead and give it a shot. I am pleased with the work my pen & paper session gave me. As usual, having the direct connection from thoughts to the page is a great way to keep my focus where as when I am typing on a keyboard, I can easily let my mind wander to the TV, music or whatever. So here’s what I came up with and I’ll type it up for the search engines. :)
noun — combines thinking about your blog with the action of brainstorming. Provides ideas for strategy, content, etc. First used (by me at least) when I (Janice Person aka @JPlovesCOTTON) was chatting with Ryan Goodman (@AR_ranchhand of Agriculture Proud) one day. (jp – as I got this post into the computer, I realized several others have used the term blogstorming so it seems I have a lot of company.)
The Rules of Blogstorming
- There are no rules. Like blogs, blogstorming should be unique to the blogs in question.
- See rule #1.
General Ideas on Blogstorming
- Great way to step back and look at your blog now and then.
- Consider a way to capture ideas you can add to over time
- Think about different areas you may want to blog storm.
What Works for JP
- I’m a visual thinker and a mosaic thinker too so mindmaps let me capture, organize and make actionable the ideas I have.
- Start with initial ideas, take a break and build out more.
- Using a desk blotter gives me a lot of space and easy accessibility for me to add to later.
- I use a detailed map for content.
Examples from a Blogstorming Session for janiceperson.com
I take a sheet on my desk blotter put janiceperson.com in the middle and start putting buckets for ideas in various areas of the sheet. The areas I chose for the overall mindmap became: content, design, outreach & misc. With the addition of some depth in each area:
- 3-4 times a week
- Focus areas
- ag more broadly
- misc/people who rock
- graphic consistency
- clean up navigation
- look for data trends
- spotlight cotton
- Find blogs to guest post on, prepare/send pitches
- Visit 2 blogs a day minimum – look for different blogs to connect to
- Support other blogs through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
- Participate in #BlogChat (Twitter search) plus another weekly chat is #FoodChat, #WineChat, etc
- 140 conferences (State of Now) — go for work but get benefits for both
- Comment elsewhere
Doing a More Detailed Content Map
This is the area where I put down ideas for future posts. It’s one where I want to always have a lot of ideas – never know when you’ll have trouble coming up with ideas for content and new posts. By having each of the big areas I want to cover, I make sure my “go to” areas are set. Of course, since it’s my blog, I’m free to create content wherever I want. I frequently come up with the miscellaneous ideas & get them acted on. Its knowing the content I should pull out in other areas I have to think about. doubt putting the first few ideas that popped up will help anyone but hey, I can share anyway. Hopefully sharing some of this helps!
- Jeans in a bale
- tape at the Olympics
- textile posts for Cotton 101
- planning harvest
- state of now
- robot dairy
- individual pens
- Iowa State Fair (preview, what I see, people)
Types of Posts
- Guest Posts, other topics?
- Reblogging info / stub posts
- Current draft folder
- repurposing content
- questions from friends
- stat trends
- 3-4 posts a week (1 on cotton/ag)
- look at calendar more and post a week out of events, holidays, etc.
- get 5 timeless posts in the can to provide cushion for busy weeks
What ideas do you have that can help me improve my blogstorming efforts?