Blogstorming: Brainstorming & Organizing Ideas for your Blog #PowerToThePen #Blogchat

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. :) 

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Blogstorming

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

  1. There are no rules. Like blogs, blogstorming should be unique to the blogs in question.
  2. 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:

Content

  • Series?
  • 3-4 times a week
  • Focus areas
    • cotton
    • ag more broadly
    • travel
    • photos
    • misc/people who rock
  • Design
    • graphic consistency
    • widgets/plug-ins
    • clean up navigation
    • look for data trends
    • spotlight cotton
    • Outreach
  • Outreach
    • Find blogs to guest post on, prepare/send pitches

Doing a More Detailed Content Map

Focus Areas

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!

  • Cotton
    • Jeans in a bale
    • tape at the Olympics
    • textile posts for Cotton 101
    • planning harvest
  • Ag
    • state of now
    • robot dairy
    • individual pens
    • Iowa State Fair (preview, what I see, people)

Types of Posts

Idea Sources

  • Current draft folder
  • repurposing content
  • comments
  • questions from friends
  • stat trends

Pages

  • revisit stats – what gets visits & what doesn’t
  • update the “elsewhere” page
  • add video to about jp?

Goals

  • 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?

 

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About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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11 Responses to Blogstorming: Brainstorming & Organizing Ideas for your Blog #PowerToThePen #Blogchat

  1. dadblunders August 12, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I like this a lot Janice!!! Can i use BlogStorming? Or are you going to patent it??? I love that term!!! Does everyone in your family farm?

    Aaron

    • Janice Person August 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

      LOL! I don’t think I can patent the word! Feel free to use, especially if you give me a link back when you use it on your blog. :-)

      As far as my family…. oddly, I was the first person to work in agriculture in my family for generations. Since then, my brother has purchased a farm (its his passion beyond his regular job). I just happened into a farm world when a friend of our family gave me a job. I’m a journalist by training, didn’t know I had a passion for agriculture until I met a few farmers. Then I was seemingly home!

  2. Val Plagge August 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    When is #blogchat?

    Nice job on your blogstorming! I did something similar when I first started my blog (but not as detailed) and should probably do something again – maybe I’ll wait till my blog is a year old!

  3. Erica Beck August 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

    Loved this…and you have consistently wonderful handwriting. I would fail based on my occasionally brilliant/usually dismal penmanship. :)

    • Janice Person August 17, 2012 at 12:18 am #

      Thank you! I think I can think my 9th grade wood shop & mechanical drawing teacher for that… I am glad you liked the post!

  4. Laura Hedgecock September 16, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    Very helpful. I’m kind of doing the same thing, but I like the big paper, color pens, etc.

    • Janice Person September 16, 2013 at 8:00 am #

      Glad it was helpful. I also do some of it on my iPad using iThoughts HD :)

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