Mind Mapping Basics | Tracking Your Content Marketing Success

Posted October 28th @ 6:32 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Tracking your content marketing success using a mind map created with Mindjet MindManagerMind mapping software, like Mindjet’s MindManager, makes it easy to track your content marketing success.

At left is a portion of a mind map I created to track my guest posts on Dan Schawbel’s Personal Branding Blog.

My original goal was to speed access to my original word processed files and the published blog posts.

Because I was more concerned with post titles and links, I originally didn’t organize or sort the guests posts.

Close up detail of blog post topics organized into category, showing links, Tweets, and commentsUpgrading my original mind map

Later, I upgraded the map by tracking the popularity of my various posts. I added the number of Twitter Tweets to each guest post (see close-up at right).

I would check to see the Retweets associated with each title during the first 2 days, and update the totals a few days later.

Later, I began tracking the comments associated with each post. I use the Notes feature for quotes from comments or ideas that have occurred to me since I originally wrote the article.

This approach worked well until the number of blog posts passed 100 titles. As the number of guest posts continued to grow, approaching 150 titles, it became harder and harder to review my posts and their relative popularity.

Reviewing previously-created content plays an important role in content marketing, as it inevitably sparks ideas for new posts.

Sorting guest post titles by topic

Recently, I decided to reorganize my mind map and guest post topics by categories.

I expected this to be a lot of work. However, MindManager’s “drag and drop” capability simplified and sped-up the whole process.

Here are the steps I followed when reorganizing my mind map:

  1. Identify the key blog post categories. I settled on 10 guest post content categories. (This turned out to be the most time-consuming part of reorganizing my mind map.)
  2. Creating an “Unsorted”  Floating Topic. Floating Topics, like the one on the right side of my example, are not connected to the center topic. They provide a temporary holding area for topics before I assign them to the appropriate topic categories. After creating my Unsorted topic, I moved all previously-created topics to it.
  3. Dragging and dropping topics into categories. After that, all that remained was to drag and drop individual topics to the appropriate categories. This went far faster than anticipated.

Benefits of the improved mind map

Here are some of the ways my improved mind map has increased my productivity:

  • Faster access to information. Now that the topics are organized by category, it’s much easier to see at a glance which topics I’ve already covered.
  • Easier to track popularity.  I can now easily reorganize the titles within each category by popularity, providing further insights into the best topics to readdress in the future.
  • Easier to update my maps. It’s also easier for me to review previously-submitted posts and see which topics are still receiving traffic. I can also gain fresh insights from previous posts by reviewing the comments associated with each post.

Every mind map is a work in process

One of the big lessons that I’ve learned from this exercise is that every mind map is a work in progress. Like content marketing or personal brand building, you don’t necessarily have to get it perfect on your first try. You learn as you go along, and you make constant improvements as you go along.

In the spirit of constant improvement…

How do you track your content marketing and personal branding success? Do you use mind maps, spreadsheets, or do you use other techniques? Share your comments, below! You’re also invited to join my Promoting Your Book with Social Media free book coaching call, Tuesday, October 29, at 4:00 PM EST. To attend, call 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. Ask your questions about social media, or share your comments about using mind maps for planning and tracking your content marketing and personal brand building.


  1. Mark Joyce
    October 28, 2013

    Roger -

    You said, “Every map is a work in progress.”
    It was useful and insightful to see the evolution of your map.
    I was reminded of your earlier (2007) Planning Catalyst maps.

    Very effective adaptation of the floating topic!


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