Blogging Tip|Tags & Categories

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Tags and categories are an important part of blogging. When you publish a post, your followers will get an email notification or see it hit the Reader. How others find that post is determined by the tags and categories you use. Tags and categories are searchable so while categories help keep your posts organized, they also help potential readers discover you! Less is more when it comes to tags and categories so I suggest you use them wisely. You can only use up to 15 on the WordPress platform otherwise your post looks like spam and isn’t easily visible to others. 

The tags you use are important as well. You don’t want to make the tags so specific that no one is searching by them. I like to start off pretty broad and narrow them down. Personally, my default category is “blog”. I immediately categorize every post I write with my most general tags of “blog”, “blogger” and “blogging”. That being said, those are very popular tags so they might be at the top of the Reader for a few minutes seconds before they get lost in the endless scroll of posts. From there, I start to get more specific. I’ll tag it “life” and “lifestyle” before narrowing it down to “family”, “parenting” and then “routine” for example.

When I first started blogging, I paid attention to the tags that fellow bloggers were using, especially those with larger followings or with lots of post likes. In addition to producing great content, they were obviously successful at making sure it was seen! The tricky part is, bloggers with a bigger audience don’t have to rely on tags as heavily to be discovered so make sure you’re taking notes on blogs of all sizes. You can also use tags that are hot at the time of scheduling or publishing your post. This page displays the most popular tags being used on WordPress in real time. The bigger the tag displays, the more popular it is. Go for a variety of big and small tags that fit so your blog has a chance of being seen.

It’s not just about the tags you use but also the number of tags! I’ve seen several bloggers use over 30 tags for one post. I understand their train of thought “the more tags I use, the greater the post’s reach and better the chances of it being seen.” The only thing is, it doesn’t work that way. When you use over 15 tags, it actually limits you! You can see here at the very bottom of the page that WordPress recommends you use five to fifteen tags per post. Any more than that and you probably aren’t showing up on the Reader when people search a tag you’ve used. So be selective and pragmatic when utilizing tags and categories after all you want people to easily find that post you put so much work into publishing!

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What are your favorite tags to use? Feel free to share in the comments. Be sure to check out more blogging tips and tutorials here! If you have questions or would like to see blogging tips and advice on something in particular, leave a comment below with your suggestions! 

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28 thoughts on “Blogging Tip|Tags & Categories

  1. Very important aspect to blogging! I just spent a few hours over the weekend reorganizing my categories and tags. I think people tend to use tags like hashtags, putting any word that was highlighted in the post, but the chances that people are searching for something that specific are pretty low. I randomly put Travel in a couple of my posts and got such a HUGE immediate response it was crazy. Great advice!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yeah! Travel is a huuuuuge one. If you look on the hot tags page, travel is always a big one. I’m glad that you discovered that and put the time into reorganizing them. I’m sure you’ll find yourself getting more traffic by making small changes like that.

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      1. Yeah, I’m sure that will help! Have you thought about a posting schedule? Maybe you can pick how many days a week you want to post and decide on a theme for those days. I have a daily posting schedule and I’ve found that really helps to keep me posting consistently and for there to be a sense of focus 🙂

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      2. I did think about a posting schedule, a lot actually. For some reason I’m afraid it will narrow my focus too much, at least if I publicize it. This week was actually my test for scheduling out posts while I’m out of town and see if that helps to build some momentum. My first scheduled post was this mornings and I’m scheduled through Saturday. Hopefully that will help.

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      3. Maybe you leave the topics more broad…think category instead of tag. My topics are pretty broad (parenting, relationships, thought-provoking, etc.). They’re all very different from one another so neither I nor hopefully my readers get bored. The posts can look very different and I draw a lot of inspiration from the world around me. It helps me keep on track and posting regularly but I don’t find myself repeating. You can always change your categories it’s not set in stone. I even leave Wednesdays open to anything so that day is just random. It sounds like you’re finding the balance, trying to come from being all over the place to being more focused without zooming into anything too particular 🙂

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  2. Good reminders and advice, Niki! I’ve been blogging over a year, but still need lots of advice 🙂 I have a question…. I always put about 10 tags on my posts, I try to be general, some specific. But I’ve never chosen a category. I’m assuming that one should be really broad? I’ll start doing that and see how it goes!

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    1. I’m glad you found this helpful Jenny 🙂 I like to look at categories as folders and tags as the dividers. Parenting would be a category and toddler and kids would be the tags for example. Categories are how I keep posts organized on my blog and tags are how others can find them. Both are searchable so in the end, I don’t think it matters much if it’s a tag or a category. I think the important thing is making sure you use a combination of broad and specific terms in the 10-15 tags/categories 🙂

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