Blog categories are your site’s filing system. You have different “drawers” and you need to come up with a label for each drawer.
Creating effective blog categories isn’t rocket science – but it does require some thought and planning. If you’re like a lot of bloggers, you might be making some basic mistakes when it comes to creating your categories. You might start with a couple of categories which are near and dear to your heart, and slot in some of your favorite articles. Then, you write an article that doesn’t fit into what you currently have so you add a new category for that article.
And before you know it you have way too many categories and maybe some categories with very few articles or eek, just one post. Or your category names don’t tell the potential reader enough so aren’t getting any bites.
These common mistakes are easy to avoid when you follow these
simple category creation tips:
1. Remember what categories are for
Your blog categories are like the table of contents for your blog so when you set them up, or redo them, make sure they will help readers find the information they want.
2. Only create categories you plan on using repeatedly
It can be frustrating to come upon a nifty new blog with categories that sing to you, only to find that there are few to one articles in your areas of interest. So, be kind to your potential readers and don’t taunt them with categories that don’t pay out.
3. Use names that make sense even before the reader clicks on them
There are a lot of blogs for people to read so you always make it easy on them to get what they’re after. Cute can be fun, but category names should be understandably clear – and then make sure the articles that go in each category are on topic.
4. Be specific, or be broad, but be consistent
If you take a bit of time to plan your categories you can avoid having some of them being very specific while some others are very broad. Look at just a few blogs and you’ll probably see this a lot. Some might argue that it doesn’t matter, but your list of categories are part of the feel for your blog so consistency can be nice.
5. Use popular keywords when possible
Putting keywords in your category titles can help bring in search engine traffic. But don’t overuse keywords and only put them in when they make total sense – to people.
6. Avoid similar categories
Most readers won’t intuit the difference between “Design Tips” and “Web Design,” for instance, so make sure your categories are clean and distinct.
7. Revisit your categories every few months
Review your categories and posts every few months to make sure your categories are still working for you. As you go through your posts look for common topics that may need their own category. Or you may have a category with articles that should all be archived if you are no longer adding fresh content in that area.
Your categories should reflect the vision and feel of your blog. If you’ve changed your look lately then make sure your categories go with the new you. With all the tasks associated with running a blog defining your categories can be easy to overlook but really, it’s one of those things where you can get a lot of bang for your time. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to update my zencopy categories.
What’s a favorite category you’ve seen on a blog? Share it here for inspiration.
New to blogging? Here are some tutorials for adding/deleting Blog Categories on your blog
resources used for 7 Top Tips for Creating Blog Categories that Thrive: