First...First...

Turn the image 90°, so it's vertical, and you have one of the early mind map drafts that I create when planning out new sites. This image is from a broader niche, so it has many nodes that I was researching.

I recently created the largest mind map yet for a site that someone hired me for. I worked on site planning and keyword research for him. It was a good niche and lots of material there to grow into. It got me thinking that I don't think I've talked about how I plan sites out.

When it comes to niche sites, I always like to do one of these sitemaps and plan out at least 50 articles before publishing any article on the site. This helps me see that there's a future for the site and I won't get cornered into a small niche site.

It's the same reason I get broader domain names now that can cover a spectrum of sub-niches.

These site maps help me to envision the future potential of niches and the depth. It's also my way of planning how my interlinking will work.

Creating these maps take a good amount of time, but it's helped me out a number of times when planning out URL structure and topic silos. I like to use hard silos with the URL because it's easier for me to manage internal links, but I think it's also easier for users to understand where they are on a site.

A few weeks ago, I shared one of Matt Diggity's videos on SEO Silos and interlinking. You can see his maps for silos and interlinking are similar to the maps I create.

I find using mind map software to be much faster than using PowerPoint or something else to organize. Mindnode is what I use, and it has a free plan too. There's no need for the paid plan, at least I haven't had a reason yet.

I think it's important to have your silos and interlinking set up well when starting new sites. It helps Google and your visitors navigate your site, so I always put the time in to plan out the site's structure.

How do you plan your niche sites?

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