education science technology

9-Day Science Blog Challenge, Day 7

Inspiration, Part 1 of 3

Brainstorming: Keyword Research and Mind Mapping

mind map

Today we’ll look at two methods of generating ideas for blog posts. One is data-driven, and the other is more organic.

DATA-DRIVEN: Keyword Research

Go to and type in some general topic in your niche (be sure to select a country). You will be provided with an amazing array of suggestions based on what people are actually searching for online. Almost any one of these ought to be a good starting point for an article.

For example, I typed in “CRISPR” and got these search phrases among many others:

“how does crispr work in bacteria”
“how was crispr discovered”
“who discovered crispr”
“why crispr is important”
“crispr for cancer treatment”
“problems with crispr”


What to know just how popular a given search phrase is? Check out Google’s Keyword Planner tool.

1. Log in to your Gmail account (or create one).
2. Go to the AdWords Create Account page:
3. Go to Tools > Keyword Planner from the top menu.
4. Click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas“.
5. Enter a short key phrase you’ve identified (or the URL of the website you are analyzing).
6. Your results will show you related keywords and phrases, along with their recent activity on Google. You’ll get a competition ranking and the average monthly searches over the past 12 months for each phrase.

ORGANIC: Mind Mapping

A mind map is a diagram of ideas. You begin with a central concept in the middle of a sheet of paper, then attach associated ideas—spreading out toward the edges of the paper. Imagine a tree with branches reaching all around. Read more about the process at…

EXERCISE 7: Do some Brainstorming

Try one or both of the techniques above to generate some ideas for blog posts to add to your Content Calendar (Day 6).

By Dawn Pedersen

Science advocate, web designer, educator, artist, and mommy.

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