Photo + Mind Map = Blog Inspiration

It’s not easy generating ideas for a steady flow of blog posts about financial planning, investments, or related topics. When your well runs dry, consider looking through your old photos for inspiration. This blog post was inspired by stumbling on a Barbie on a Rhode Island beach this summer.

Step 1: Pick a photo

Choose a photo to spark your brainstorming. I suggest choosing one that has no obvious connection to your blog’s topic. No dollar bills, piggy banks, or smiling retirees. This will free your mind to go in any direction.

There is no obvious connection between Barbie and writing. At least none that I can think of.

Step 2: Jot down any thoughts that come to mind

Look at your photo. Write down any thoughts that occur to you.

Some of you may come up with fully formed topics. If that’s not true for you, then organize your thoughts into a mind map in the next step.

Step 3: Draw a mind map

Draw a mind map with your photo at the center. As branches, draw potential blog post topics.

I drew the mind map below on the Green Hills Beach in Rhode Island’s South County region. If you find my handwritten map hard to read, look farther down for the same map, recreated using Mindomo.

As you can see, the Barbie on the beach sent my mind in many directions.

mind map

Mind map

Mind map

Barbie mind map created using Mindomo

Your mind map will look different, reflecting your interests and inclinations.

Step 4: Write your blog post

Your next step? Pick the topic that most appeals to you and start writing!

If this idea sparks a new blog post, please link to it below. Some vacation photos inspired one of my most popular blog posts: “Writing tip: Pop the balloon or make it your focus.”

8 replies
  1. James McDonald
    James McDonald says:

    I’ll have to admit, that photo REALLY got my attention. In my mind I was thinking “What on earth can a CFA write about a very dated children’s toy”; after reading your post I am amazed at the scope of your brainstorming. I admit, however I typically have TOO MANY topics to write about and not enough time. For me it comes down to prioritizing which of the numerous topics I want to address will resonate with the most people right now. Thanks for the inner peek at your very intricate thoughts!

  2. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    James,

    Lots of people would kill to have your problem of so many ideas. I imagine that a list of your business priorities plus a sense of what people want to read helps you winnow down your topics.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  3. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    What a great idea! Especially for those of us who sometimes struggle with forming out-of-the-box ideas. I will definitely try this, thanks for sharing.

  4. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    Andrea,

    I’m glad you like my idea! Feel free to circle back to tell me how it worked for you.

  5. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    Marijke,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment! I’m so glad you’re considering trying this technique.

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