In short I really dropped the ball, but then I picked it up again…
But first here are the key take aways of this post
- Get direction on niches that work for you
- Boost your brainstorming session by mind mapping
- Free Tools to speed up mind mapping projects big and small
Last time we left off, we set the framework for success of our passive income niche site. I made it clear that I would share both the success and setbacks of the project and I’ve already encountered a major issue. Niche sites are easy to do half ass, or get pushed aside in the wake of more pressing issues.
Since there is no one else involved in your quest for passive income, it lacks the team pressure/support that other projects usually include thatkeep things moving. I clearly fell victim to this and have been focusing on other projects that have more squeaky wheels (real people) seeking my attention.
Aside from potential income lost by not staying on track, what’s kept this project alive is that I don’t want to let you and my other subscribers down. Even though you are less squeaky I can hear you in my head asking for the next post.
So lets get down to the process of going from a blank canvas and a bunch of ideas in our head to a fairly concise list that we can then use to perform some initial market testing.
Say Hello To Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is similar to creating a outline but it is much more flexible.It protects our right brain from our left by allowing our thought process to go off on tangents unhindered by what we think is a “good” or “bad” idea for a niche. This is especially helpful because until we do serious market testing you don’t know which are “good” or “bad” niches from a financial or competitive standpoint.
In this case we are going to be performing 3 mind maps. Each having a core topic and then branching out from there.
3 Core Topics
These core topics were not chosen at random. They are based on interview between Pat Flynn over at The Smart Passive Income Blog and Glen Allstop of Viperchill.com. The reason they are such effective starting points is that while passions may be obvious, problems and fears can be just as compelling if not more so when it comes to creating killer content.
You can draw a mind map free hand on paper or you can use app to keep things organized. I prefer to use an app simply because it makes it easier to expand the map beyond the typical 8.5×11″ confines of paper.
You can do all your mind mapping in one season or multiple. I would recommend at least 2 sessions with 24hrs or so in-between so your mind can percolate overnight and you can add a fresh layer of ideas to original the following day.
Bellow is the mind map for “Passions” that I came up with over 3 days using Simple Mind which is available for free on Mac, Windows and iOS devices.
You can see how general or specific you can be when mapping. As you work on your mind maps keywords and phases will begin to jump out at you. It may spark you to dive even deeper on a idea or find your at a dead end. The more word associations you can get down in a mind map the easier it will be to succeed in the next phase: Keyword Research.
Skills, Time, & Cost Disclosure
- Skills: I’ve done Mind Mapping before but never used the SimpleMind Software until now
- Time: I spent a total of 3 hours over the course of a few days
- Cost: I downloaded SimpleMind+ for iPhone and iPad for free to build the mind map on my iPad, I ended up paying for the in-app upgrade to export it to my desktop for $3.99
- Pencil & Paper (old school and free) or …
- Microsoft Power Point or Keynote on Mac (time intensive but keeps things digital) or …
- SimpleMind+ for iPhone and iPad (free version with in-app upgrade and it’s a universal app) or …
- SimpleMind Free for Mac (free version) or …
- SimpleMind for Mac (premium version of SimpleMind Free for Mac which makes it easier to share with iOS devices) or …
- Simple Mind Desktop for Windows (download the 30 day trial or buy the full version)
Niche Site Progress Recap
Just to recap where we are in the process
- Find a niche with potential
- Mind Map our Passions, Problems and Fears < – You are here!
- Create the website
- Add content
- Create traffic
- Monetize it
That’s it for now. But remember mind mapping is a skill for life and you don’t need an app to get the job done. If you’re stuck on a deserted island in the pacific take a stick and do a mind map in the sand. You might just find the most unlikely option leads you to safety. See you next time when we tackle Keyword Research to determine which items on our mind map are financially viable.
Drop a comment about how you brainstorm ideas.