You Need a Game Plan ( Part Two)

January 20, 2011 in Blog Thoughts, Blog Tools by Diane

Sometimes I think having a game plan is pretty much like being a teenager asking “what do I want to do with my life” with so many choices and directions it can make a persons head swim!
It is the same for blogging
For those of you who have a blog and are focused on your niche or topic, congratulations and I encourage you to keep reading to get further ideas to help you with your game plan.
For those of you who  are still saying… “I want to be a blogger” or”I kind of know what I want to write about” or “I have a blog but I dont’ know where to go with it” then read on
Being a blogger with a game plan means having the end result at the very beginning.
With that being said here are a few questions to ask yourself
1. Do you enjoy writing? Its not such a silly question as you might think.  Not everyone is a writer, in fact some people hate writing with a passion and yet are very successful bloggers.  For myself, I tend to write in two ways…one as a researcher/lecturer( writing facts and giving information) or I “visualise” in my mind that I am talking to somebody (you)just having a conversation about something.  For others blogging means using images to convey their topic and then there are the people who vlog( creating video blogs) or audio blogs.  there are many choices and you need to find out which would work for you.
2.I know you have heard this so many times..but – Do you have something that you are passionate about? Keeping the game plan in mind means knowing that you will be able to write about something for a long time – that it will hold YOUR interest, never mind your readers ( did I just say that? well it is true!)
3. Are you blogging to make money? Well… it was nice talking to you!  Seriously here is a reality check for everyone..If you are starting a blog to make money, you are going to fail and worse your game plan will be in ruins before you even start! I am not saying that you cant create an income with a blog, but it takes a lot of time and the competition is going to be fierce!  Get your priorities straight at the very beginning and that is content, consistent content and even more content with a lot of connecting to others via social networks, learning new skills and other methods to get yourself noticed.
ok  enough of the lecture..onword with a good game plan
You have answered the question of why you are blogging and you have an idea of what you want to blog about, but you really cant see the forest for the trees in terms of  where you want to go with your blog niche.  What has helped me is brainstorming , either with others or writing things down, but there is another way that might be of use to you. create a Mind Map!
A great definition to explain a mind map can be found at Wikipedia
Basically “a mind map is a  is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid to studying and organizing information, solving problems, making decisions, and writing.”
I have to say that brainstorming using mind mapping tools are just very satisfying and visual.  They can be used for so many ideas or projects.  When you type in a search “mind mapping tools”  You will get oodles of places to look at, but to give you a starting point I have picked three (3) services to get you started:
Mindmeister mind mapping tool
Quickly build your own mind maps using our intuitive, award-winning interface – absolutely no learning required! Access them online whenever you like, export them to other formats, or import your own existing maps. All you need is a standard web browser, no plugins or additional software required.” ( Free and paid services)

“Mind42 is a free online mindmap collaboration tool.  Keep track of all your ideas,whether alone, with colleagues and friends or working together with the whole world. browser based online mind is aing application”

“Wise Mapping is the web mind mapping tool that leverages the power of Mind Maps mixing new technologies like vectorial languages (SVG and VML) and the power of the whole Web 2.0 concept. No pluggin required.”
Well thats it for today.  Come back tomorrow and I will share with you how to keep your game plan going with blog set up, categories and other such methods.  As always your thoughts and your view point is needed to help me with my game plan ;-)